Dwindling oil revenue forces training agency to cut overseas scholarship programmes

ptdfOscarline Onwuemenyi

05 October 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) has announced plans to step up its capacity to hold most of its training programmes, particularly its overseas scholarship scheme in-country because of Nigeria’s current poor receipts from oil and gas sales.

The agency said that it has stepped up the domestication of its education and training programmes in the country and that a greater percentage of beneficiaries of its scholarships will now undergo their studies at top Nigerian universities and centres of excellence it upgraded to its accepted standard.

PTDF also stated in a statement, which was signed by its head of media, Kalu Otisi in Abuja, that the federal government approved the development of the National Institute for Petroleum Policy and Strategy, NIPPS, as part of the Fund’s infrastructure and human capital development programmes.

The statement noted that NIPPS will come with a state-of-the-art training facilities and learning environment for the development of research, technology, skills and relevant manpower for Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.

The Fund said that although it has over the years implemented a gradual domestication policy with the award of local scholarships to deserving students in Nigerian universities it has upgraded, it is now going to accelerate the process with effective utilisation of some of the institutions it developed from scratch.

It also disclosed that it has initiated strategic partnerships and collaborations with local and foreign universities, training and research institutions, as well as curriculum development service providers in this regard, adding that one of the institutions being proposed for this phase of the domestication drive is the NIPPS under construction in Kaduna.

“With a technology development and management wings, the institute is specifically designed to undertake industry related training for executive and senior management personnel in the oil and gas industry, provide training for fresh graduates in oil and gas related disciplines to improve their employability in the petroleum industry, and host a one-stop analytical laboratory for effective research and development activities,” the statement noted.

It added that it will also offer oil and gas related post-graduate degree programmes, welding and fabrication training programmes, as well as research in renewable energy sources.

According to the statement, the Robert Gordon University Aberdeen has in this regards expressed its willingness to partner with the Fund, and recently visited it to determine how it can effectively engage with it.

It quoted its Acting Executive Secretary, Ahmed Aminu to have said during the visit of the team from Robert Gordon University that it will now train more Nigerians at home without compromising on standards.

The renewed domestication drive, Aminu said was tied to the government’s initiative to look inwards and build in-country capacity in-line with the spirit and intent of Nigerian Content.

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